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Pax Nicholas & The Netty Family

Afro-beat percussionist and singer Nicholas Addo-Nettey (aka Pax Nicholas) was most notable as a member of Fela Kuti's powerhouse Africa 70 ensemble, playing on nearly all of the group's seminal 1970s releases, although he also cut a couple of rarely heard records under his own name. Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1954, he grew up singing, playing, and dancing from an early age, and was swept up as a teenager in the national craze for American soul music. In 1971, after venturing to the musical mecca of Lagos, Nigeria, he was introduced to Kuti and invited to join his band as a backup vocalist and conga player. Beginning with 1972's pivotal "Shakara," he appeared on all of Kuti's sides for the next seven years. Meanwhile, he recorded two solo albums for the Tabansi label: 1971's Mind Your Own Business and 1973's Na Teef Know de Road of Teef, recorded with fellow Africa 70 musicians at Ginger Baker's Lagos studio (also frequently utilized by Kuti). Despite the strength of the latter record in particular, it was effectively buried after a furiously resentful Fela, hearing the positive response from the crowd when it was played at a party, allegedly told Nicholas never to play it again. Addo-Nettey remained with Kuti, living at his politically dissident Kalakuta Republic compound, until a series of government raids and military attacks -- during one of which he was arrested and imprisoned for nine months -- prompted him to decamp (along with several bandmates, including Tony Allen) when the group was playing at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival. Nicholas remains in Berlin, where he continues to play -- leading fellow West African expatriates in the band Ridimtaksi -- and where he was recently tracked down by crate-digging DJ Frank Gossner, who discovered a copy of Na Teef in a Philly record store and helped to coordinate a 2009 reissue on Daptone Records. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Na Teef Know De Road Of Teef

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